Whit Men's Tennis Rules in Singles, Knocks Off No. 23 Rhodes

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 18

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Bouncing back from 2-1 deficit after doubles, Whitman College rallied in singles for a 6-3 victory over Rhodes (Memphis, Tenn.) in a neutral-court battle of nationally-ranked men's tennis teams Saturday morning in Fredericksburg, Va.

  Whitman 6,
  Rhodes 3

Match Scores

Playing on the campus of the University of Mary Washington, Whitman won five of six matches in singles to beat Rhodes and even its challenging early season record at 3-3.

Sam Sadeghi

Rhodes, ranked No. 23 in the NCAA Division III preseason poll, took the early lead with victories at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles.

Whitman, ranked No. 29, salvaged its team point in doubles at No. 2, where junior Jeff Tolman and sophomore Andrew La Cava posted an 8-3 victory over Sanders Phelps and Kevin Duffy.

The match resumed with players taking the court in the top three singles slots, and Whitman evened the score at 3-3 by taking two of three decisions.

James Rivers

Tolman won at No. 2 singles, outlasting senior Ryley Erhardt 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-5.

Senior Conor Holton-Burke got the win at No. 3 singles, beating senior Brad Pennington 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

A third Rhodes senior, Morgan Slevin, rallied for a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over La Cava at No. 1 singles.

In the lower half of the singles bracket that followed, freshman James Rivers made it 4-3 Whitman with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over senior Taylor Simmons at the No. 4 spot.

Junior Sam Sadeghi then tallied the clinching fifth team point at No. 5 singles, knocking off Phelps 6-2, 6-3 win.

Senior Adriel Borshansky topped off the Whitman triumph by winning 6-2, 6-1 over Duffy at No. 6 singles.

Whitman's slow start in doubles, noted Whitman coach Jeff Northam, was due in part to the three-hour time zone change. Doubles against Rhodes started at 9 a.m. Eastern time, or 6 a.m. Pacific time.

"The three-hour time difference is a huge hurdle," he said. "Frankly, we started slow and tired."

Whitman's two losses in doubles came at No. 1, where Holton-Burke and junior Matt Tesmond lost 8-4 to Slevin and Erhardt, and at No. 3, where James and Sadeghi fell 8-3 to Pennington and Philip Johnson.

Whitman completes its quick East Coast swing at 11 a.m. (Eastern) Sunday morning against No. 22 Mary Washington.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu